The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial opens today – a project that’s been in the works for 12+ years. It actually opened a few days ago and was supposed to be dedicated today but that was postponed due to Hurricane Irene. It’s also a project that I don’t think has any place in Washington, especially since the man was not a president. No, I’m not a racist – just stating my opinion. I wouldn’t even think it belonged in Memphis. Why not put it in his hometown instead? How many of you even know where he was from?
Though it cost millions of dollars to build it, you might be surprised to learn that the foundation in charge of it also had to pay $800,000+ to the King family for the use of quotes from his speeches and for the use of his image.
The monument is divided into three large parts…all mimicking a mountain. Visitors walk through two parts as if climbing a mountain and the third part has MLK himself coming out of the mountain. The project has received a bit of flack because it was sculpted by a Chinese man, rather than an African American. Have we not learned anything from MLK’s words in that he was for equality for all men? Who cares who carved the rock?!
His stern look also has gotten negative reviews, despite the fact that it was based on the photo from the cover of his autobiography. That’s America for you, always quick to criticize even when we don’t know our facts.
In fact, let’s have a history lesson…
Did you know that MLK was a womanizer? Yes, indeed. He had several women on the side, one who was actually there in Memphis the day he died.
Did you also know that in the late 1960’s, most African Americans didn’t like MLK. They criticized him and said he was all talk. He wasn’t even going to stay at the Lorraine in Memphis in 1968, but was criticized for not staying somewhere “more black.”
Did you know that after he was killed, riots broke out in Memphis. Businesses were looted and a few white people even lost their lives. Wow! The very thing that Dr. King was against! Violence!!
Did you know that some African Americans lost their homes when the Lorraine Motel was turned into a Civil Rights Museum? Just ask Jacqueline Smith. The area the Lorraine is in was once home to working class, which have been replaced with shops and condos. Yes, we must preserve our history, and make it look pretty. Oh yeah, and make money doing it.
No, your history books didn’t tell you any of this. We’ve grown up believing he was some sort of martyr because he was a good speaker and in the spotlight at the right time.
I’m all for preserving our history to educate the future, but I’m also for learning the facts and not having a cookie cutter clean version spoon fed to me. Millions of dollars spent on this memorial – the King family already profiting from it.
Tell me now who has a dream?